Learning Stations for the Sacraments of Initiation

This one’s a doozy, folks! Sometimes in my planning, I get carried away and this is one of those times. I’ve put together a lesson on the Sacraments of Initiation that involves Learning Stations for the kids. The lesson requires a lot of preparation on the part of the catechist (and a few expenses) but ends up being an activity in which the kids do all the work which is the way it’s supposed to be! […]

4th Graders Understand the “Darkness”

Last evening, we did an Advent procession (to a recording of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel) in our classroom, carrying all of the objects and symbols needed to set up our prayer table/Advent wreath. With the lights dimmed and the first candle lit, I asked them what is happening this time of the year in terms of light and darkness. Of course they noted that darkness is increasing and the light decreasing each day. I mentioned that […]

A Language of Mystery

Funny how a segue I had planned for my class this past Monday turned out to be one of the most significant moments of the entire session, thanks to one of my students and the Holy Spirit. I was seeking to introduce the concept of SIGNS and how we encounter Jesus through the signs we call the Sacraments. I invited 3 volunteers to come forward for a “contest.” I had 3 clear plastic cups on a […]

We Encounter Jesus through Signs

Here’s my lesson plan for Monday, November 15, 2010 Big Idea: We encounter Jesus through SIGNS (the Church and the Sacraments) Engage As the kids enter, hand them the Signs and Symbols worksheet and have them get busy with it. When all have gathered, do opening prayer ritual and then review correct answers for worksheet Explain that today we will be learning about signs and symbols of our faith Invite 3 volunteers to come forward for […]

Chatting, Cutting, Chatting, Cutting

My goodness, 4th graders can be chatty! 🙂 Last evening, as they worked on their Works of Mercy project, cutting and pasting pictures of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy in the correct frames, my young apprentices were extremely chatty! Several of them were singing (or rapping) outloud to themselves as they worked while most of them chatted unceasingly with one another as they diligently performed surgery with their scissors and glue. It was […]

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

Here’s my lesson plan for Monday, November 8, 2010 Theme: Jesus Sends the Holy Spirit    Big Idea: The Holy Spirit guides us to serve others (through works of mercy) in Jesus’ name Engage As kids arrive, have them draw a picture of themselves acting as a GUIDE at some location of their choosing (provide crayons/markers). Invite them to share where they chose to be a GUIDE Explain that we rely on GUIDES to show us […]

A Tour of the Church Student Worksheet

One activity that many catechists include in their repertoire is taking the students on a tour of the Church. This is an excellent way to provide a hands-on experience for kids, introducing them to the sacred spaces and objects that are a part of our Catholic worship and inviting them to develop their Catholic vocabulary. I’m a firm believer in always putting the responsibility on the students to show comprehension. I rarely show a video […]

“Can We Do That Again?”

To begin Monday’s session, we did an All Saints Day procession. I talked a little bit about what a procession is, comparing it to a parade and how parades usually celebrate victory and the hoisting of a trophy – such as the Stanley Cup here in Chicago! 🙂 We talked about how the Cross of Jesus is a symbol of victory: God’s victory over sin and death. I had my aide, Daneen, lead the procession, […]

A Visit From the Associate Pastor

Last night, we had a very nice visit from our Associate Pastor, Fr. Matthew Nemchausky. Fr. Matt dropped in last week and asked if he could arrange for a time to meet the kids so I invited him to visit this week. We planned on perhaps 10-15 mins, however, the kids were so interested in him that the visit lasted a half-hour! I thought it was an excellent experience for the kids and I was […]

Jesus Is Our Redeemer

Here’s my lesson plan for Monday, November 1, 2010: Theme: Jesus is our Redeemer Big Idea: Through his death and Resurrection, Jesus redeems us – restores our “reputation.” Engage As kids enter, give them a “Do You Know Your Trophies?” worksheet and have them match famous trophies with the correct sport. Go over the answers. Show them a trophy you have and talk about what a trophy symbolizes (victory) Show them a crucifix and explain […]

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